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"And don't you get bored of always eating the same thing?" "Why don't you drink milk if the cows don't suffer?" These are some of the questions that vegans are asked over and over again.
Here is a summary of the talks with several of them so that they can tell us about some of the most common clichés and questions that they are tired of hearing.
They are Tonia García, who lives in a village in Asturias, Brañanoveles (Mieres) with only 11 inhabitants; Álvaro Sánchez, one of the creators of the vegan clothing and accessories brand La Bella Solera; Tamara Guerrero, head of the website on vegan products in Spain El Jardín de Asami; Cris Muñoz, creator of the website El universe de Cris; and David Román, who has been facing these questions for decades as president of the Spanish Vegetarian Union (UVE).
1. Don't you get bored eating always the same thing?
Álvaro Sánchez: People think that a vegan only eats lettuce. In my case, I will eat lettuce three times a year, if it comes. The variety of legumes, cereals, vegetables and vegetables in general is infinite. And its possible combinations and I don't even tell you.
The problem that people often encounter when switching to a vegan diet is a palate used to artificial and salty flavors. Thelearning curve it takes as long as it takes your palate to learn to enjoy natural flavors, products without artificial seasonings. That's why real food tastes "tasteless" to them. Getting real flavors is tricky in this processed food society, but it's a pleasure.
Cris Muñoz: Is there life beyond salads, friends! Ideally, make complete dishes that include a cereal or legume base, a variety of raw or cooked vegetables, and fats. So we can prepare from aubergines stuffed with quinoa and mushrooms with vegan cheese on top, lentil pasta with vegan bolognese made with textured soy that simulates minced meat, asparagus scrambled with tofu (instead of egg) ... In addition, there are all kinds of substitutes such as burgers, pizzas, vegetable meats and chicken, among others, so there is not much boredom.
2. And don't you feel sorry for plants? They are also alive ...
Tonia García: Although some studies affirm that plants and vegetables feel some kind of pain or are sensitive to damage, the reality is that they lack empathy, maternal instinct, a feeling of protection for their species ... They do not suffer emotionally, which they do animals.
How am I going to eat a being that has a mother, or feels fear, or cares, just out of taste selfishness? Impossible.
3. Why do you impose a vegan diet on your minor child if he cannot decide?
David Román: All parents inevitably instill in our children our convictions, values and principles. It would be asking a lot of vegans not to breed them like that, when it happens in other homes. When they are older, they will accept or reject those values according to their personal criteria, as happens in all families.
4. Why don't you drink milk if the cows don't suffer?
Tonia García: It can be said that they do suffer, especially if we take into account how cows are used, the fate of their calves and the injuries when they are milked with mechanical devices ...
5. Don't you feel drained with what you eat?
Álvaro Sánchez: The best thing to do is usually answer with a question, do you, after getting fed up to your ears, feel energetic? No right? Well, I haven't felt that way for years.
I don't feel less energetic, I feel much more. My first steps with veganism were because I read about the improvement in performance of many elite athletes. I am not an elite athlete but I do feel much better physically and mentally, with much more strength to train and I recover before the efforts.
The extra energy was the first benefit I noticed from changing my diet. Combining cereals and legumes not only offers complete proteins, but also offers an almost infinite range of possibilities. Oh, and it's also faster than cooking a dead animal.
6. What if you were on a desert island and could only feed on animals?
David Román: Although it seems incredible, you ask this question often. This is taking the situation to an extreme and unrealistic case that will never happen. We live in a society with access to all kinds of food and, fortunately, we can choose what we consider most convenient for us.
7. A cosmetic productcruelty-free is also vegan? And vice versa?
Tamara Guerrero: No,cruelty-free (cruelty free) means that neither the product nor its ingredients have been tested on animals. Vegan means that the product does not contain ingredients of animal origin.
A product can be both (cruelty-free and vegan), or one (cruelty-free, but not vegan) or the other (vegan, but notcruelty-free).
A company can claim to be vegan, or bring vegan product lines to market, but this does not necessarily mean that the products or the brand itself are 100%cruelty-free. Although it may seem strange, a company that does not use any ingredient of animal origin to make its products, could still experiment on animals, both the final products and the ingredients that compose them.